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Engagement ring stolen, sold to pawn shop - Legal question?
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# 1
Emzycal
Old 16-09-2012, 2:43 PM
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Default Engagement ring stolen, sold to pawn shop - Legal question?

Not sure if I'm posting this in the right place, but it seems the best place to post it.

Long story short - my engagement ring was stolen and sold to a Cash Converters/Cash Generator type place by my Uncle who was living in my Grans house as was I at the time.

The police have recovered it and I have it back, and we are waiting for them to arrest my uncle.

The thing is, on the morning the ring was stolen, right after I noticed it missing, my Mum and I phoned every single pawn shop in the city and I'm fairly certain we phoned the one he sold it to. So if they'd already taken it, they should have contacted the police. And if they hadn't had it already, they should have known full well not to buy it.

My question is, can I take any legal action against the shop in question? Since they were clearly told that X was stolen and that Y may be in to try to sell it to them? They were given all the details they'd need to avoid the purchase of the ring, yet still took it or had already taken it and neglected to inform the police.
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# 2
mildred1978
Old 16-09-2012, 2:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emzycal View Post
Not sure if I'm posting this in the right place, but it seems the best place to post it.

Long story short - my engagement ring was stolen and sold to a Cash Converters/Cash Generator type place by my Uncle who was living in my Grans house as was I at the time.

The police have recovered it and I have it back, and we are waiting for them to arrest my uncle.

The thing is, on the morning the ring was stolen, right after I noticed it missing, my Mum and I phoned every single pawn shop in the city and I'm fairly certain we phoned the one he sold it to. So if they'd already taken it, they should have contacted the police. And if they hadn't had it already, they should have known full well not to buy it.

My question is, can I take any legal action against the shop in question? Since they were clearly told that X was stolen and that Y may be in to try to sell it to them? They were given all the details they'd need to avoid the purchase of the ring, yet still took it or had already taken it and neglected to inform the police.
They only had your word for it that it was stolen. You have the ring back, you aren't out of pocket.

I really don't know what you are asking, as any legal action (which would be civil) would be for compensation, and you don't need compensating!
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# 3
faerie~spangles
Old 16-09-2012, 2:48 PM
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What action do you imagine you could take?

You should be thankful that your ring was recovered.
I'm not that way reclined

Jewelry? Seriously? Sheldon you are the most shallow, self-centered person I have ever met. Do you really think that another transparently-manipu... OH, IT'S A TIARA! A tiara; I have a tiara! Put it on me! Put it on me! Put it on me! Put it on me! Put it on me! Put it on me! Put it on me!
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# 4
Emzycal
Old 16-09-2012, 2:49 PM
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To be honest, more out of principal than anything. These shops don't have the right to operate the way they do. If it was an individual buying clearly stolen goods from people, they'd probably be prosecuted for it.
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# 5
molerat
Old 16-09-2012, 2:53 PM
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If the police think they have done anything wrong they will prosecute them plus they are a regulated business so could lose their licence.
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Last edited by molerat; 16-09-2012 at 2:57 PM.
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# 6
londonsurrey
Old 16-09-2012, 4:25 PM
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Mention it to the police. Is the phone call in any of your phone records?
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# 7
k12479
Old 16-09-2012, 4:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emzycal View Post
These shops don't have the right to operate the way they do.
And you don't have the right to expect for-profit businesses to enter into the problems of disfunctional families.
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# 8
scooby088
Old 16-09-2012, 4:47 PM
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OP only advice I can give you is be thankful you got the ring back and let it go.
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# 9
fluffnutter
Old 16-09-2012, 4:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emzycal View Post
The thing is, on the morning the ring was stolen, right after I noticed it missing, my Mum and I phoned every single pawn shop in the city and I'm fairly certain we phoned the one he sold it to.

My question is, can I take any legal action against the shop in question?
You want to take legal action against a shop because you're 'fairly certain' you phoned them?

You need to be a lot more than 'fairly certain' before you try to ruin someone's business. As others have said, let it go. I find it strange that you seem more annoyed with the shop than you do your thieving uncle
"Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell" - Edward Abbey.
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# 10
Nicki
Old 16-09-2012, 4:59 PM
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Your phone bill will show whether you dialled the number of that pawn shop and whether your call lasted long enough for you to tell them about the stolen ring. So, if you did phone them, you will have evidence which can be used in a prosecution of the date and time of the call. The pawn shop should also have records of when they accepted the ring.

So the first step is to check that you have evidence that you called them, and if you do, the second step is to notify the police and the local Trading Standards people so that a prosecution/revocation of their license can be considered. If you have no such evidence, then there is no second step.

I am sure that OP is as cross with her uncle, if not more so, than she is with the pawn shop. However, if she notified them of the theft, then of course it is right to pursue them if they nonetheless accepted the ring. I am baffled with people who want to protect the pawn shop's right to knowingly fence stolen goods and who presumably want such a facility in their areas where those who burgle or pickpocket them can easily dispose of their goods for cash!
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# 11
Ms Chocaholic
Old 16-09-2012, 5:02 PM
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My thoughts on your situation. If the shop had acted on your advice and not bought the ring from your uncle, then your uncle may well have travelled to another town, say 50 miles away to sell the ring and you may never have seen it again. At least you have it back as they did buy it.
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# 12
fluffnutter
Old 16-09-2012, 5:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicki View Post
Your phone bill will show whether you dialled the number of that pawn shop and whether your call lasted long enough for you to tell them about the stolen ring. So, if you did phone them, you will have evidence which can be used in a prosecution of the date and time of the call. The pawn shop should also have records of when they accepted the ring.

So the first step is to check that you have evidence that you called them, and if you do, the second step is to notify the police and the local Trading Standards people so that a prosecution/revocation of their license can be considered. If you have no such evidence, then there is no second step.

I am sure that OP is as cross with her uncle, if not more so, than she is with the pawn shop. However, if she notified them of the theft, then of course it is right to pursue them if they nonetheless accepted the ring. I am baffled with people who want to protect the pawn shop's right to knowingly fence stolen goods and who presumably want such a facility in their areas where those who burgle or pickpocket them can easily dispose of their goods for cash!
I'm certainly not wishing to 'protect the pawn shop's right to knowingly fence stolen goods'. Rather that, on the strength of the opening post the OP simply doesn't have enough evidence. Nor do I believe that the length of the original phone call will in any way confirm the assertion that they were told about the theft, although it will of course confirm whether this particular shop was called or not.
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# 13
Dreamnine
Old 16-09-2012, 5:09 PM
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You got the ring back - what else do you need/want?

Aside from prosecuting your larcenous uncle.
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# 14
cbrown372
Old 16-09-2012, 5:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emzycal View Post
Not sure if I'm posting this in the right place, but it seems the best place to post it.

Long story short - my engagement ring was stolen and sold to a Cash Converters/Cash Generator type place by my Uncle who was living in my Grans house as was I at the time.

The police have recovered it and I have it back, and we are waiting for them to arrest my uncle.

The thing is, on the morning the ring was stolen, right after I noticed it missing, my Mum and I phoned every single pawn shop in the city and I'm fairly certain we phoned the one he sold it to. So if they'd already taken it, they should have contacted the police. And if they hadn't had it already, they should have known full well not to buy it.

My question is, can I take any legal action against the shop in question? Since they were clearly told that X was stolen and that Y may be in to try to sell it to them? They were given all the details they'd need to avoid the purchase of the ring, yet still took it or had already taken it and neglected to inform the police.
so how did the police recover the ring?
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# 15
Dreamnine
Old 16-09-2012, 5:13 PM
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I take it said Uncle will be removed from your Xmas card list?
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# 16
Nicki
Old 16-09-2012, 5:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fluffnutter View Post
I'm certainly not wishing to 'protect the pawn shop's right to knowingly fence stolen goods'. Rather that, on the strength of the opening post the OP simply doesn't have enough evidence. Nor do I believe that the length of the original phone call will in any way confirm the assertion that they were told about the theft, although it will of course confirm whether this particular shop was called or not.
Clearly a bill showing the number called and the length of the call, does not prove what was said during the call itself. However, if the record exists, it will be corroborating evidence of the OP's statement to the police that she did call this pawn shop and tell them of the theft. Why else would she phone the shop (and a number of other shops in the area, which her phone records will also show) if not to impart this information?

My understanding is that pawn shops are quite strictly regulated, and that if they are put on notice that an item has been stolen and may be presented, they are expected to ask for proof of ownership.

In any case, as I have said more than once on this forum, it isn't for a victim of a crime to provide all the evidence, and there is no need to hold off reporting a crime to the police until evidence is to hand. If you believe yourself to be the victim of a crime, then you are perfectly entitled to report this to the police and to voice your suspicions in respect of everyone involved in the crime, and it is then for the police to investigate that crime and if there is sufficient evidence to decide in conjunction with the CPS whether to take action against the perpetrator.

If the pawn shop knew the ring was stolen and accepted it, then they deserve to be put out of business, and OP should not be deterred from reporting their role in things. If there isn't enough evidence at the end of the day to support the OP's accusation, then no action will be taken against the shop but that doesn't mean she shouldn't at least ask for their actions to be investigated.
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# 17
74jax
Old 16-09-2012, 6:56 PM
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My ex stole a lot of my belongings and pawned them. I too called pawn shops who said they had nothing matching that description. My family liaison officer went to the pawn shops for me and recovered most items - and the date they were pawned was before I called! Why the didn't tell me when I called I don't know but I don't care, when he gave me them I hugged him! I'd just be happy you have it.
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# 18
meritaten
Old 16-09-2012, 9:22 PM
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I would guess that a pawn shop would be very wary of some random person phoning them about 'stolen' property. they have no way of knowing that you are actually the legal owner - entirely different if a police officer comes in with a description/list of stolen property.
as for suing the pawn shop - I doubt you would get far. unless they were previously given the list of stolen property by the police they can always claim they bought the items in good faith.
perhaps you can just be grateful you have your property back?
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# 19
peachyprice
Old 16-09-2012, 9:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meritaten View Post
I would guess that a pawn shop would be very wary of some random person phoning them about 'stolen' property. they have no way of knowing that you are actually the legal owner - entirely different if a police officer comes in with a description/list of stolen property.
as for suing the pawn shop - I doubt you would get far. unless they were previously given the list of stolen property by the police they can always claim they bought the items in good faith.
perhaps you can just be grateful you have your property back?
This, exactly.
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# 20
marywooyeah
Old 16-09-2012, 9:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamnine View Post
You got the ring back - what else do you need/want?

Aside from prosecuting your larcenous uncle.
technically you could sue the uncle for conversion but I'd just be grateful you got the ring back. what a nasty man your uncle is!
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